IHSA baseball pitchers to get few more throws in 2017 playoffs

By Benjamin Yount 
Illinois News Network

High school baseball in Illinois is seven innings, so even the new postseason pitch count of 115 pitches means managers across the state will have to be crafty if their pitchers aren’t on the money.

The Illinois High School Association (IHSA), which oversees high school sports in the state, upped the postseason pitch count this week from 105 to 115. IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson said by the time pitchers get to the state series, you’re talking about fewer teams, stronger arms and fewer games.

Anderson added that the IHSA tweaked the pitch count because schools asked for more leeway, but he said the pitch count itself isn’t going anywhere.

“The pitch smart program that’s developed nationally by Major League Baseball and filtered down to the youth level has recommended these limits,” Anderson said. “Obviously [to protect] the safety of young people going forward.”

Last spring was the first season with a pitch count for Illinois high school baseball. Anderson says the IHSA heard some grumbling, particularly from smaller schools who said they didn’t have enough pitchers, but the group didn’t face any major blowback.

“This is just giving a little back to the coaches,” Anderson said, “while still keeping the safety precautions that we have in place now.”

The 115 pitch limit is only for the state playoffs. Pitchers during the regular season will still be limited to 105 throws during the game.

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